Art exhibit creates discussion about sexual violence
COLUMBIA - The new art exhibit “It Happened” opened Monday and focuses on informing the public about sexual violence in America.
"If we could just change the mindset of one individual, who maybe then has the courage to stand up to their friends, I'd be happy," said MU Interim Director of Digital Storytelling Katina Bitsicas. "Really we're just trying to have a greater impact on the MU community."
Bitsicas and Lee Ann Woolery are curators for the show and wanted to use art as a platform to open up dialogue about difficult discussions, like sexual violence.
It took the pair over a year to determine a theme for the exhibit, find artists and await the completion of the artwork.
"I really hope that people feel empowered after viewing our exhibit. I think a lot of these works are different views that people haven't seen before," Bitsicas said.
The exhibit features artwork from Bitsicas and Wooler as well as Jillian Dickson, Maura Mchugh, and Melissa Kreider.
"I want my work shown anywhere it can be because it serves to trigger change and bring awareness of this issue to the viewer," Kreider said.
Kreider is sharing her piece, "Remnants: an investigation of the realities of sexual and domestic assault." She said the photos capture the realities of sexual domestic assault, following the process of a sexual assault from the begging to end.
"The artist that are showing are not necessarily survivors, but they have been impacted by sexual violence and assault in some way in their lives," Woolery said. "They're artists who know how to use their art to tell a story."
In addition to the exhibit, the gallery is holding events for people to become more informed about the exhibit and sexual violence like a Curators tour and Sponsor Talk.
The exhibit will host an official opening ceremony Thursday, August 31 and the show runs from August 28 to September 21 in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery.
More events the gallery is having about the exhibit can be found on the MU art website.